Montana is the worst state for drink driving deaths and Mississippi is the safest, according to research done by a California legal group.
The study, by California-based criminal defense law firm Simmrin Law Group, analyzed the latest available data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System on the number of drivers involved in deadly crashes who were under the influence of alcohol.
It revealed that out of the 1,187 drivers who were involved in fatal accidents between 2017 and 2021 in Montana, 373 were found to be under the influence of alcohol. That translates to 31.42% of drunk drivers in deadly vehicle crashes in the state – the highest rate in the nation, with no other state seeing a rate higher than 30%.
At the other end of the scale, Mississippi had the lowest percentage of drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents, at just 6.97%. There were 4,663 drivers in the crashes measured over the five year period, and 325 were found to have alcohol in their system.
New York had the next lowest rate of drunk drivers in crashes that caused someone’s death, with 7.59% – 525 out of 6,920, while Illinois had the third lowest rate, at 8.1%.
South Dakota has the second highest percentage of drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents, with 204 out of 806 drivers having alcohol in their system, which equates to 25.31%. The data revealed that 2020 was the year with the highest number of drivers under the influence of alcohol involved in deadly crashes, with 51.
In third place is Wyoming, where 21.69% of drivers in fatal crashes between 2017 and 2021 were found to be over the legal limit. There were 779 people driving vehicles involved in deadly accidents, and 169 were found to have been drinking alcohol.
The state with the fourth highest percentage of drunk drivers involved in deadly traffic accidents is Vermont, as 92 out of 428 drivers involved in deadly crashes were found to have consumed alcohol – a rate of 21.5%.
North Dakota places fifth and is the final state where more than one in five drivers in fatal crashes had been drinking prior to it. There were 690 total drivers in deadly road accidents in the state, and 142 were under the influence of alcohol, which is a rate of 20.58%.
Commenting on the figures, a spokesperson for Simmrin Law Group commented: “Everyone knows that driving under the influence of alcohol is extremely dangerous and poses significant risks to both the driver and others on the road. Unfortunately however, that has not prevented a significant amount of fatal accidents where the driver had been drinking. On a national level, 13% of drivers involved in a deadly crash were found to have alcohol in their system – more than 35,000 people.”